For the women who need us most

For the women who need us most

I’m Werking On My…

I’m Werking On My…

Top five most embarrassing things to do in the workplace
By Eva Millett

Hey there fellow workers! Let’s face it, we’ve all had some absolute corkers of embarrassing moments in the workplace, and they stay living rent free in your head. It could be a coffee catastrophe at the desk, or an epic email fail, it’s time to rank the top five most embarrassing things to do in the workplace.

5) Spilling your coffee

In at number five is spilling your coffee everywhere. We’ve all done it. You’ve just popped down the cafe for a quick elevenses. That extra ten minutes in bed really took a hit and you sadly didn’t have time for your usual morning coffee. You come back up to the office happy with your flat white choice, but you forgot to pick up a cup holder. Oh no. In the last few steps of your quest to your seat. Boom. The sodding flat white got the better of you. It’s your fault for asking for extra hot, what a rookie error. 

Before you know it, your beautifully hand-crafted, extra hot flat white with a personalised bean silhouette on top now belongs to the office carpet. It shouldn’t be so embarrassing but it just is. Your office pals make a collective ‘wayyyy’ at the vision of coffee flying all over the office. You feel your face gradually turning crimson, you try to play it off but it’s too late as your team erupts into fits of laughter. 

£4.50 down the drain all in a morning’s work. The ‘cozzy livs’ really got the better of you this time. 

4) Reply all button

Next up is the reply all button. But we all know it’s not about the feature itself, but the contents of your email that you ‘reply all’ too. It has to make the top five most embarrassing things to do.

Picture this, you work in a big Estate Agency and you and your bezzie mate Becca are feeling the TGIF vibes. Your boss sends out an all-staff email announcing a company-wide meeting for an important update that afternoon. Without thinking, you reply to email addressing Becca who’s sat just three or four seats away from you . “UGH. Not another boring pointless meeting. Odds on it being Tim telling us our targets are down this month again. I’ll tell him we booked that viewing with the young couple this afternoon by mistake so we can’t make it. Let’s get one at the local. Catch you there babe!” 

In your haste to get to the pub, you accidentally press ‘reply all’ instead of sending it to Becca. Within seconds, you realise your mistake. But it’s too late. Your sneaky little plan has been sent to your probably soon-to-be furious boss Tim, as well as the entire company. 

Let alone embarrassing, in at number four this one is just downright mortifying. You keep your job (just about), but for the rest of the year you never manage to live down the ‘reply all blunder’… 

3) Forgetting the mute button

In the spirit of the number four, in at three is forgetting the mute button as one of the most embarrassing things to do at work. Let’s face it, post-pandemic we’re all used to online calls now. But sometimes we get a little too comfortable being in the peace and quiet of our own homes… 

Imagine you’re on a big call with your department to discuss an important project update. The team leader is presenting critical data, and you’re actively listening but you decide to multi-task and grab a quick snack. 

As you go to chow down on your first McCoy’s ridge cut flame-grilled steak crisp of the packet, you notice several colleagues with puzzled and amused looks on their faces. Your heart skips a beat and you suddenly realise you forgot to press the mute button. You’ve been broadcast munching on your favourite snack in front of your entire team. You profusely start apologising but cut yourself off with the newly discovered mute button remembering the seriousness of the meeting. 

2) Sitting on your own at lunch

Taking the penultimate spot on our list of the most embarrassing things to do at work is sitting on your own at lunch. This one’s embarrassing because it’s tragic, sadly, pushing it up the pile. 

But it doesn’t always have to be tragic, sometimes the chaos and flurry of the office is actually so over-stimulating you just need a minute. One particularly busy Tuesday lunchtime, after you’ve put up with a solid four hours of hearing the office mum Sally yelping ‘What are you having for tea?’ to every colleague across the work room – it’s time for a spot of lunch on your own. 

You set up camp in the canteen, take out your lovely pre-prepared caesar salad and chocolate mousse dessert before you hear murmurs. It’s a group of the work lot off to the local deli to grab lunch together in a flurry of laughter and excitement. 

One of the lads Dan immediately clocks you in your little safe place. He comes over and says “Oi look it’s Sarah billy no mates! Rather sit on your ones than come to the deli!?” 

The joke remark is funny and totally harmless but suddenly your happy little lunch feels mortifyingly silly. 

1) Wardrobe malfunction

Low and behold, taking the top spot is of course the wardrobe malfunctions. Frankly, it would’ve been criminal to give it to any other. It’s a timeless classic, and unfortunately it never gets old. 

Let’s say you’ve got a huge presentation at work, and you’ve chosen your outfit weeks in advance. You’ve opted for a black midi pencil skirt, paired with a crisp white shirt and a pair of heels. You feel good, confident, and the skirt hugs your curves perfectly. 

Presentation off, you’re on a roll and you’re growing in confidence with each slide. You turn to point to figures on the data slide, and you hear a gradual ripping noise. Oh no. Come to think of it, the skirt did feel a bit tighter this morning. Panic surges through your body as you realise you’re facing your worst nightmare. The seam of your skirt has split wide open. 

Forget blushing. You feel heat rising up your entire body. But trying to maintain composure, you awkwardly shuffle into a position the awful tear is less visible – and it works. Your colleagues’ eyes widen and you see surprising smiles. But you manage to make it through the rest of the presentation somewhat gracefully while clutching the bottom of your skirt. 

After spending the rest of the afternoon glued to your desk, point black refusing to make eye contact with any colleague, eventually your boss taps you on the shoulder. “Well done today. You handled it like a boss. These things happen,” he says. 

His comment makes you feel better and reassured, but you still can categorically never be seen in the office ever again. That’s just that.

If you’re interested in reading more of Werk’s top rankings, read –